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Cardinals attack Terry McDonough’s character in lengthy response to arbitration claim

Mike Florio and Chris Simms map out who the Cardinals could be eyeing to select with the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, if they don’t consider trading down.

Often, a company accused of misconduct by a former employee has no comment in response. Sometimes, there’s a comment in response. Every once in a while, there’s a lengthy comment in response.

Rarely, the lengthy comment includes an over-the-top personal attack on someone who dared to raise grievances through the appropriate internal processes.

That’s what the Cardinals have posted in response to the arbitration claim made by former executive Terry McDonough. The full content of the team’s comment is here.

It’s replete with personal attacks on McDonough. That’s disappointing.

We realize McDonough is making strong allegations against the Cardinals. But the Cardinals should be taking the high road on this. Instead, their public response repeatedly throws mud at McDonough, attacking his character with the obvious goal of making nothing he alleges believable.

But if these various issues raised in the team’s response are true, why did they employ him for so long?

It seems below the belt, frankly, to explain that, after hiring McDonough, a close family member told the team that McDonough had “abandoned responsibility” to one of his children and “cut her off financially.” What the hell does that have to do with anything regarding McDonough’s employment with the Cardinals or his current claims?

The list of allegations against McDonough goes on and on. It’s unclear when these things happened. But the inescapable conclusion is, again, why did they employ him for so long?

They’re now basically painting him as erratic, irrational, and troubled. Too erratic, irrational, and troubled to be believed in anything he alleges against the Cardinals.

It feels over the top. It feels vindictive. It feels like “f--k around and find out.”

It’s not the way an NFL franchise should be operating. It’s unbecoming to the team. It’s unbecoming to The Shield.

The Cardinals should delete the statement, replace it with a generic denial of McDonough’s claims, apologize for gratuitously attacking his character, and vow to defend themselves in a fair, proper, and honorable way through the proper channels.

They won’t. But they should.

The internal arbitration process is already rigged in their favor. It should be enough to defend the claims on the merits within the confines of those protocols. Instead, they’re determined to smear someone who spent multiple years working for the organization.

The message to all current and future employees of the organization is clear. If you ever dare to complain about anything that happened here, we may smear you next.